Curriculum

It is our aim that all pupils are highly skilled at all forms of communication and are ready to enter the world of Post-16 and careers. From entry into Year 7, English students follow a combined English Language and Literature programme. From the start they are encouraged to read critically on a wide range of texts from Shakespeare to the present day, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism. We promote a skills based approach where all pupils are encouraged to make an informed personal response that derives from analysis and evaluation of the texts. The skills introduced in Year 7 are developed systematically throughout the years as different levels of challenging content and contexts are introduced to broaden the knowledge and abilities of the pupil.

Our pupils are encouraged to love reading and explore aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings; distinguishing between what is stated explicitly and what is implied; and using understanding of writers’ social, historical and cultural contexts to inform their evaluation. Pupils are taught how to compare texts by analysing both their content and ideas and their language and structure.

All pupils write often and extensively to develop their skills of analysis, evaluation, summary, description, and argument. In this extended writing they must strive to show their ability to use accuracy and Standard English, whilst writing with fluency and confidence. We also develop all pupils’ spoken language enabling them to become confident, articulate speakers as well as effective listeners.

All areas of our curriculum are accessible to all learners and are suitably adapted to meet a variety of differing needs. One of the key ways in which we make the curriculum accessible is through the Accelerated Reader programme which helps every student to reach their full potential in reading.

Our English curriculum is enriched with opportunities to develop the students’ cultural capital, from theatre trips to author visits to wider reading and knowledge of important historical events. In addition, we celebrate and promote literary and cultural events such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day. We also explicitly teach SMSC and British Values in many of our units, for example, covering terrorism, respect and identity through novels, as well democracy, personal relationships and healthy living through our non-fiction texts.

Year 7

Unit Content and assessment
Descriptive Writing Descriptive writing based on a still image
Assessment: You are going to enter a creative writing competition. Your entry will be judged by a panel of people of your own age. Write a description suggested by this picture.
Contemporary novel
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references
Assessment:
How does Pitcher present the relationship between Jamie and Sunya? Write about:
  • how the relationship develops
  • any obstacles to the relationship
  • support your opinions with quotations from the text
January Assessment: Responding to unseen fiction and writing to describe or narrate.
Poetry An introduction to the study of poetry. Students will study a short anthology of poetry, in order to develop their language analysis skills, and understanding of how structure and form shape meaning.
Crime and Mystery The Crime and Mystery themed unit will introduce students to a range of Literature extracts from 19th century novels to modern texts.
Stories of Survival Non-fiction reading and writing
JUNE ASSESSMENT: responding to unseen non-fiction texts and writing to express a viewpoint.
Shakespeare Students are introduced to a range of extracts and characters. Language analysis, inference and deduction skills, and selection and retrieval skills are developed through drama activities and written responses.

Year 8

Unit Content and Assessment
Dystopian Fiction Students will read a selection of dystopian writing and create their own dystopian stories
The Novel (Of Mice and Men) Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references
JANUARY ASSESSMENT: Responding to unseen fiction and writing to describe or narrate.
Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet
Literature Assessment: How does Shakespeare present Lord Capulet's feelings towards Juliet and marriage?
Focus on this extract from Act 3 Scene 5
Show your understanding of the whole text and its context in your answer.
Language Assessment:
The Night that Changed Everything - narrative writing.
Travel and Journeys Non-fiction reading and writing
Reading assessment
Writing assessment - writing to explain, argue, persuade
Poetry Students will study a short anthology of no more than 6 poems, in order to develop their language analysis skills, and understanding of how structure and form shape meaning.

GCSE Years 9 - 11

English Language

http://www.aqa.org.uk/

Examination / controlled assessment percentages

100% examination

Course outline

The GCSE course continues to develop the skills and understanding you have been developing during Key Stage 3. All four key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are covered.

Assessment details

There are two exams, both of which are non-tiered.
Paper 1 covers creative reading and writing. (One literary fiction text, descriptive or narrative writing) Paper 2 covers writers’ viewpoints and perspectives. (One non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text, writing to present a viewpoint.)
At the beginning of Year 9, you will be allocated to a group based primarily on your achievement in the June examination in Year 8. At various times throughout the course you will sit an internally-assessed exam in order to show your current progress and what you need to do to improve further.

Additional Information (e.g. equipment required, possible career paths)

You will need to bring your equipment to every lesson. English Language opens doors to a wide variety of further education opportunities and careers. Strong language skills will help you to succeed in every subject area and career, with all employers looking for a good GCSE in English. In addition, the subject can lead to many exciting careers such as media and journalism, law, publishing and teaching.

English Literature

http://www.aqa.org.uk/

Examination / controlled assessment percentages

100% examination

Course outline

The GCSE course continues to develop the skills and understanding you have been developing during Key Stage 3. Prose, drama and poetry are all studied.

Assessment details

There are two exams, both of which are non-tiered.
Paper 1 covers Shakespeare (Macbeth) and the 19th Century Novel (A Christmas Carol). Paper 2 covers Modern Texts (Lord of the Flies) and Poetry (Power and Conflict), including unseen poetry. Paper 1 is worth 40% and lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Paper 2 is worth 60% and lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
At the beginning of Year 9, you will be allocated to a group based primarily on your achievement in the June examination in Year 8. At various times throughout the course you will sit an internally-assessed exam in order to show your current progress and what you need to do to improve further.

Additional Information (e.g. equipment required, possible career paths)

You will need to bring your equipment to every lesson. English Literature opens doors to a wide variety of further education opportunities and careers. As well as helping you to succeed in all areas of study and employment due to the strong communication skills that it develops, the subject also leads to may interesting career opportunities such as publishing, the media, theatre, academic routes and teaching, to name just a few.

October 2019

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